How British are we?
Here at GBF we obviously think we’re great (yes, we know we lack modesty ☺), but just how British are we?
Well firstly we are based squarely in the British countryside, in the deepest rural depths of the beautiful county of Herefordshire. Our farm is part of The Duchy estate and our family farm grows specialist seed crops and has a herd of beef cattle.
We grow and source through a network of farmers a whole range of home-grown British flowers. We have nothing against imported flowers – in fact we occasionally use them ourselves, - BUT at the moment only 10 per cent of the flowers sold in the UK are actually grown here. This is despite our fabulous reputation for gardens and growing. Yep - our British flower industry has been virtually wiped out over the last 40 years - but we are helping lead a real resurgence of #grownnotflown flowers that helps reduce flower miles and most certainly helps with the diversity of the countryside in terms of business and environment. (Bees love British Flowers!)
YES, BUT HOW BRITISH ARE YOUR FLOWERS?
Posies and Bouquets containing British blooms:
ALL our hand-tied fresh posies and bouquets will contain British flowers and/or foliage and we will put a stem count stamp on the wrapping so that the recipient of our flowers will know how many were grown in the UK (please note, this quantity will depend on the design, weather and the season, - but rest assured that we will always include as many local flowers or foliage as we possibly can).
Throughout the year we often use ALL #grownnotflown flowers. Some of these grow in our walled garden and others are sourced direct from flower farmers throughout the UK and are completely traceable back to farm level. If you love the idea of really gorgeous country flowers you do need to trust us and Mother Nature in terms of type and colour of the arrangement, - but we can guarantee it will be gorgeous, nostalgic and natural.
Q and A
Q: Are ALL the flowers you sell all grown in the UK?
A: NO. We use as many homegrown blooms as physically possible and if we do need to supplement with other blooms we choose ones grown as near to the UK as possible to minimise the flower miles. The quantity of #grownnotflown stems in each design will vary, depending on design, season and weather. There will ALWAYS be at least 10 British Grown stems (flowers or foliage) in your fresh bouquets, posies and cut flower boxes. We are as keen as mustard to use as many as possible so whenever we can we will include more and to this end we will stamp the amount of British stems we have included in your arrangement on the packaging. Each month we produce a UK grownnotflown stem count so that you can see the progress we are making with homegrown blooms.
Q: Why don’t you sell ALL British Flowers – after all you are called The Great British Florist?
A: It’s just not that easy… but it’s getting better all the time. We have agreements on traceability with several growers and buy British every week and all year round (subject to availability). At the same time we grow our own flowers and foliage and forage on the farm. It’s not possible for us to send exclusive British Flowers (although we do offer 100% homegrown arrangements most of the year round). There is a limited supply in terms of quantity and variety so we supplement with other flowers. Our commitment on using as many UK grown blooms as possible means we don’t buy flowers by type or colour – we take whatever our growers have got on the day. This means you get market fresh flowers AND even better there is absolutely NO flower waste.
Q: Are your DRIED flowers all British?
A: No. We grow our own good range of flowers and dry them here on our farm and this increases every year. These stems include eucalyptus, wheat (lots of wheat – thanks Farmer Phil), grasses, larkspur and much more. We also buy flowers locally and dry them where we can – this year we purchased from two new local growers which was lovely. However, lots of our dried flowers come in from Europe where weather conditions make growing and drying much easier and sustainable, and enables us to have a full range and not be too reliant on our British weather.
Q: Do you have a shop?
A: No. We are based on a farm which helps us keep our overheads reasonably low and means we can offer fabulous value for money…(and we’d be really bored in a shop…)
Q: Can I phone my order in?
We can’t take orders over the phone but you will find our website easy to use and our customer service is there to ensure if you have any problems we will get back to you very quickly (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Q: What do you grow on the farm yourselves?
A: Our farm is a mixed family farm so we have beef cattle and grow many crops for seed . For our floristry we harvest our own wheat and barley and dry it on the farm and use the hedgerows for foraging. We have a walled garden with a huge variety of plants but have recently planted roses, herbs, tulips and grasses for cutting. Our cutting patch develops all the time and we have planted 100,000 larkspur this year!